|Public limited company|
|Traded as||LSE: OCDO|
|Headquarters||Hatfield, Hertfordshire, U.K.|
|South East England, Midlands, North West England, North Wales, the South Coast of England and most of Yorkshire, South West England and South Wales|
|Stuart Rose, Chairman|
Tim Steiner, CEO
|Services||Groceries, consumer goods|
|Revenue||£1,463.8 million (2017)|
|£14.7 million (2017)|
|£1.0 million (2017)|
Ocado is a British online supermarket. In contrast to its main competitors, the company has no chain of stores and does all home deliveries from its warehouses. Ocado has been voted the best online supermarket in the UK by Which? readers every year since 2010. The company was floated on the London Stock Exchange on 21 July 2010, and is a member of the FTSE 100 Index.
Ocado was founded in April 2000 by Jonathan Faiman, Jason Gissing and Tim Steiner, former merchant bankers with Goldman Sachs. Ocado was launched in January 2000 as a concept and started trading as a business in partnership with Waitrose in January 2002. When the company first started, Faiman, Gissing and Steiner ran every part of the business themselves.
In September 2006, Michael Grade became non-executive chairman of Ocado, shortly after Goldman Sachs were appointed as financial advisers, fuelling speculation which had already started about a listing for the company. In November 2008, the John Lewis Partnership transferred its shareholding of 29% into its staff pension fund. It also agreed a five-year supply deal with the business, replacing its previous one-year rolling deal. This deal was replaced in May 2010 with a 10-year branding and supply agreement. Procter & Gamble took a 1% stake in the company the same year. In February 2011, the John Lewis pension fund sold off its entire Ocado shareholding.
On 13 July 2009, Ocado released their first app for the iPhone. The app, called 'Ocado on the Go', allows users to do their grocery shopping without the need of a PC. On 19 April 2010, the company extended the app to Android devices. The Android app has a number of features that the iPhone app does not have, including the ability to control the app using only the voice. In 2015, Ocado launched the first grocery app for the Apple Watch. In July 2010, following considerable speculation, Ocado undertook a stock market Initial public offering.
In January 2018, Ocado completed negotiations for a deal with Canada's second largest supermarket chain Sobeys, owned by Empire Company. Michael Medline, CEO of Empire and Sobeys, said its e-commerce (robotics system for home deliveries) business would start in approximately two years.
Ocado's products include own brand groceries from the Waitrose supermarket chain as well as their own Ocado brand, but also a selection of name brand groceries and other items, including flowers, toys and magazines. A range of Carrefour's products are also sold via Ocado.
In August 2017, Ocado launched an app for Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant, that will allow users to add products to an existing Ocado order or basket via voice command. The company states it is the first UK supermarket to launch an app for Alexa.
Morrisons online deliveries
Since January 2014, Ocado have been delivering online groceries for one of their main grocery rivals Morrisons supermarkets, using Ocado's network of depots to deliver Morrisons groceries to online customers. The fulfilment of Morrisons.com grocery website customer orders comes from Ocado’s Dordon Customer Fulfilment Centre (CFC) in the Midlands, with deliveries brought to the customer's doorstep via Morrisons liveried fleet. Morrisons made an initial capital payment of up to £170m to Ocado to acquire the Dordon site and associated mechanical handling equipment, as well as a licence and integration fee. A further £46m was invested to expand Dordon in order to accommodate Morrisons range, integrate with Morrisons systems and establish a network of delivery spokes. On an annual basis, Morrisons pay service costs and a contribution to research and development expenditure.
Jez Frampton, CEO of Interbrand and non-executive director of Ocado, claims the name "Ocado" is "a made-up word, intended to evoke fresh fruit". Neil Taylor, an Interbrand consultant, stated that the name was a variant on the avocado fruit.
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